Nov 19

What have they done to Toast Martinborough? Part 1

Yesterday was our annual family outing to Toast Martinborough, a leisurely Winery-Crawl around the town, with about 10,000 other merry souls.

Now I blogged last year about the supposed “feral behavior” that had people complaining (well, the Kiwis were complaining – any Brits were clearly “whinging”) – though we never saw anything of the sort, and spent the whole day wandering round having a brilliant time with every one else. In response to the hand-wringing and whinging about the” pre-loading”, “violence” and -um- “drunkenness” – a whole host of rules and regulations were in force this year. As a “Friend” of Toast, I even had a few emails to remind me about them all in the few weeks prior to this years event. It didn’t bode well to be honest.

Now it didn’t help that although it was dry and quite pleasant at our house, by the time we got to Martinborough it was raining, and bloody cold. Because there were now a load of extra security, the lines to get our glasses (and wrist bands) were way longer than normal. There was a “Fast Queue” if you didn’t have bags that needed checking -( yes – they want to check that my small black handbag isn’t holding a 6-Pack of cheap lager or a picnic for 12) unfortunately they only told yo that after you had been queuing for 10 minutes in the rain. There were quite a few bad tempers.

Note to the organizers – once people realised you were taking their food of them – they just chose one person to hold the bags while the others went and got their glasses, then they looked after the bags while that person went through the fast lane. This isn’t a stadium concert with one entrance.

And apparently – while they can rifle though your bag – they cant actually unzip it. Strange but true.

So to be honest – it wasn’t the best start. Cold and wet and we haven’t had a bloody drink yet!

Anyhow – off to the first winery – Te Kairanga. By which time it was absolutely pouring down. on the plus side, it was pretty empty, so we could get a drink quickly. On the negative side, we got 3 Tastes – $4, $4 & $5, and the woman serving said $20 please. I asked her to try again and she came up with $14. I gave up and told her the answer. She took it with better grace that I did at that point to be honest. Thankfully the food tent was warm, but a couple of young girls we were chatting to weren’t too impressed with the “warm” cookie, that was in fact cold. But hey – we all figured a few more glasses would warm us up.

To be honest – after the next winery – we decided enough was enough, and went home for a few hours to see if the weather cleared up.


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